“holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these” (2Ti 3:5). The masculine plural participle e;contej has as its referent the “men” of v. 2; hence, the vice list in 2-4 refers to men who “hold” a “form” mo,rfwsij of godliness but they have denied (hvrnhme,noi, perfect tense over against present) the power of godliness. This would refer to a settled attitude on their part (illustrated by the preceding ungodly attitudes and behaviors). We would have solid ground, then, to note the opposite: the true power of godliness will result, as Paul told Titus, in grace teaching us to live a godly life (Titus 2:11-14). Paul commands Timothy to purposefully avoid interaction and communion with such men (avpotre,pomai). Such would require the identification of such men (Romans 16:17). (If you cannot see the Greek fonts, click here).
On the less encouraging side of things…I get the feeling this is a reply, of sorts…
Wait a minute. Yes, I do see the problem. This type of understanding eliminates the ability of a lot of today’s
Really and Truly Legitimately Regenerate Reformed PeopleGospel Pharisees to maintain their legalistic, man-made requirement for obtaining justification. You know, that works-righteousness requirement of intellectually comprehending the capital-d Doctrine of capital-s, capital f Sola Fide. Not to mention their impressive ability to on-the-spot invent new pretzel-like hoops of question-begging, fear, suspicion, and self-righteousness in response to all the insidious Super-Ultimate Threats to The Doctrines of Grace that lying idolators keep coming up with because they hate the truth and can’t stand to have their deeds of darkness exposed to the perspicuous Scriptures, Objectively Exegeted by the Approved Caste of Evangelical Seminary-Trained Spiritual Scientists.
Yeah, that’s a pretty big problem, alright. Thankfully the perspicuous Scriptures describe the solution: Stand piously in the temple thanking God you aren’t like those poor deluded sinners, repetitiously intone mantras about the purity of one’s lineage, and crucify the Truth so that the Roman(ists) don’t come and take away your city and your heritage.
Yeah, I’m the one attacking others. 🙂 I await Mr. Johnson’s open letter to Mr. Enloe with baited breath. I expect it to arrive around the time the Arizona Cardinals win the Super Bowl, the Suns win the NBA Championship, the Coyotes win the Stanley Cup, and it stays below 100 all the way from June through August in Phoenix.
Who would have thought, just a few years ago, that we would have been hearing someone who was not a part of the Roman Catholic apologetics world railing like this about “solafidians”? Well, I’m thankful I know a bunch of true brothers and sisters more than happy to be painted as a “solafidian.” And I’ll keep talking about how one will never exercise the “fides” of “sola fide” unless enabled by the work of the Spirit (monergism vs. synergism), how that faith is never an “alone faith,” an “empty faith,” a faith incapable of demonstrating its existence, but is a living faith, one that flows from a changed heart, a changed nature, resulting in a zealous desire to glorify God by walking in good works (James 2, Ephesians 2, Titus 2). Call these intellectual doctrines if you must, but I dare you to try to explain to anyone how they are to live so as to glorify Christ without providing the very same objective basis in God’s revealed truth.
Do note one thing: when responding to TGE yesterday I focused upon specific propositions and facts; in response we have nothing but sarcastic ad-hominem (literally pages of it now, including constant mockery of the exegesis of the text of Scripture, incessant inaccurate caricaturization, etc.). Seemingly, for some, that is the most substantive reply that can be given, and it covers over all the inability to respond to the factual issues (like refuting false accusations by giving specifics and even URL’s where the facts can be ascertained).